Sounds like a buzz word these days due to its increasing demand among ICAP students who want to join training to be eligible for CFAP examinations and finally to become a qualified Chartered Accountant.
The concept of industrial training was not new. Earlier 6 months to 12 months industrial training is allowed as per training regulations. It was the post ear of 2008 when ICAP start deliberation into the concept of industrial training due to its prevalent practice around the world and most importantly the current professional demand.
Earlier after passing C.A. (Intermediate)/CAF examinations (normal procedure), students embark their journey to this chartered accountancy world by joining the firms where they pass through a rigorous time and get trained to handle the challenges of post article life. A race was developed between big four firms and then big ten firms and so on. This race was jeopardized by category of firms in an illusion world for a period of fifty-six years. An attempt was made to clarify the issues and concepts through all available means which was succeeded too.
Industry articles was a voice since a decade and so but this issue got catch word in last few years due to various reasons. ICAP also started working on this issue and finally be able to draft a policy on it which cannot be implemented due to some legal considerations as given in C.A. ordinance.
Finally, with the arrival and beginning of new training era i.e Industry Articles in Pakistan for Chartered Accountancy.
Before embarking into the discussion of industry articles, we need to look into the history of industry articles. The concept of industry articles is not new in the world. This emerges with the advent of industrial revolution in the world. As with firm articles, there are views favoring this novel idea and ideas rejecting this idea due to various reasons which is explained below:
Meaning of Industrial Training:
Industrial Training refers to a program which aims to provide supervised practical training within a specified timeframe. This training will be carried out in approved institutions and organizations. The industrial training shall be received under the guidance of a Chartered Accountant member of the Institute engaged in such an organization. This is subject to prior approval from the industrial organization to be served or such principal.
Please further note that industrial training suits in those countries which had specialized and full developed and self-controlled financial system. Unfortunately, Pakistan industrial sector is not that much well quipped as in case of other countries where industrial training is fully operational from inception to completion.
Benefits of Industrial Training:
Provide opportunity to get training under your field of specialization like finance, marketing, supply chain management etc.
Why ICAP prohibits industrial training till now?
ICAP prohibits industrial training due to many reasons as follows:
The notion that ICAP not allow industrial training doesn’t mean any of the following descriptions:
ICAP is not enemy to anyone. There is a way to be done.
HOW TO SELECT RIGHT INDUSTRY ORGANISATION:
The rule to select the right industry organization is very critical to your career. This will affect your career in long term after completion of your training and qualification. Once the selection is confirmed by industry organization, you must discuss (if possible) with your Member Responsible for Student Affairs (MRS).
The prospective trainee should be aware of kind of work offered by industrial training organization. Since you are a trainee who will probably leave the organization once your training period will be completed, this is highly likely that you will not be given any key work. You will of course be deployed in finance or accounts or treasury department for minor work like bank reconciliation or agreement drafting but you will never be able to enter into core work of the organization whose responsibility lies exclusively on the employee and they are and will be accountable for that. The work assigned to you might result in development of frustration in you since you will be deprived of that. Deprivation will also be due to organization secrecy. Please weigh the pros and cons between your current articleship experience and the one offered by the Company.
In my opinion, leaving audit or tax exposure (here-in-after referred to as firm training) for industrial training would make sense only when you get good quality work or in a situation where you are not satisfied with your current employer.
Be very clear asking for your work profile with the interviewer. In my personal opinion, recruiters liked candidates who are clear in their thoughts and like to know why would they join the organization. Asking for the work profile is your right, which should be exercised every time.
Lot of banks also hire industrial trainees for a lot of their departments like corporate finance, private banking, wealth banking etc. You should therefore, be clear which division would you work for and what kind of work would they offer you.
There is no harm in candidly asking the above questions from the interviewer. Since you would be needing leaves for your study preparation, asking about their leave policy, working hours etc would be helpful in determining your decision to join that organization.
The CA firm will give you 45 days of study leave whereas the company may offer you less and therefore, you would have to take a call what suits you. There is no set mechanism to take a decision and it would purely depend upon your circumstances in that moment.
Please note that even in extreme circumstances, firm don’t give you exam leave and ask you to appear in exam while working. As firm can do anything, so in the case of industrial training organization. Anything can happen in the firm and industry with any trainee anytime.
Don’t join with an expectation to be absorbed
There is a misconception in the minds of students that once you complete your industrial training, the chances of you getting hired by the same company are very high. This may not be completely true. Majority of the good companies hire chartered accountants at the central level. There might be a possibility that industry training organisation will hire industrial trainees, but to get absorbed on their payroll you have to follow a completely different process. Yes, if your credentials are strong and you satisfy the requirements of their hiring process, you would definitely be preferred. But don’t take absorption in that organization for granted.
Wishing you all green lights in life…
If you are a fresher, the company might prefer recruiting employees who have undergone training in their own company
Articles in industry, is it good or bad? Instead of taking sides let's see this objectively. If articles in industry are allowed the choices will increase, both for students and employers. Movement from one training organisation to another will become easier. Let me explain with an example. ABC has passed CAF and is now looking for a training organisation. ABC can choose between audit firm or an employer in the industry. ABC knows that in firm ABC will get more exposure and therefore he decides to join a firm. After 2 years in the firm ABC applies for remaining training in a multinational company ABC has always dreamed of working for. That company instead of hiring a fresh intern will prefer ABC as he has 2 years of experience in the firm already. So now 3.5 years have been completed and this will appear in the CV of ABC. Two years’ experience in audit firm, 1.5 years experienced in multinational company. Plus it will also cause firms to improve their attitude towards students as students will be free to move to industry any time (the demand is there). Now in theory a student can move from one firm to another with an NOC but in reality it's close to impossible, especially in the case of Big 4. Overall it's a good thing, the one who thinks firm is better he should stay there and one who thinks industry is better should go there. It's a matter of choice not a debate. The more choices there are the better.
Both have their own upsides and downsides to them. An Audit Firm for breath of knowledge and experience and Specific Sector for depth of knowledge and experience. So an Audit Firm would be like an MBBS and Specific Sector like Dermatologist, Neurologist et
So let’s discuss what a part qualified is, the issues faced and the suggested solution compared with the steps taken by ICAP to mitigate such issues. We shall also discuss the job consequences of such steps taken by ICAP.
Part qualified CAs:
Previously a person who was unable to complete CA examinations in full was known as part qualified CA.
Issues are faced by such persons in searching for job outside Pakistan more than inside the country because local market knows what is CA Inter/finalist and international market does not. Persons with CA inter + Articles are always able to get reasonable jobs inside Pakistan, however due to non-recognition of this part qualification on international level the issues faced in searching job are alarming.
Introduction of certifications:
After ICAP has officially notified the certifications AFC, CAF and CFAP as a “Complete Qualification”, the definition is revised technically to “A person who fails to pass all the papers of a particular certification”, which means that:
1. You have passed AFC level – Not part qualified e.g. fully qualified
2. You have passed CAF level – Not part qualified e.g. fully qualified
3. You have passed CFAP level – Not part qualified e.g. fully qualified
The impact of this is positive more for international markets rather than local. Now you can tell the Sheikh that you have a certificate in accounts and finance (CAF) from institute of chartered accountants of Pakistan, and a post qualification experience of 4 years from ABC Chartered Accountants. Seems good?
However, local market still knows CA Inter and Final, and these terminologies are not much familiar. Even those employers who know what is CAF, they still consider you a part qualified CA.
Recognition of CAF certificate and introduction of Professional Accounting Affiliate (PAA):
The purpose of introducing CAF certification was to provide recognition to part qualified CAs. Initially there was a requirement to complete 1 year of training in order to write “CAF” with your name, which is no more. However, the institute failed to get recognition of CAF from HEC and has now introduced a new degree named “Professional Accounting Affiliate”. After passing 16/21 required papers and completion of mandatory training from an approved training organization, you shall be awarded this degree. Still HEC has not recognized this degree as equivalent to graduation. Let’s discuss pros and cons of this step by ICAP:
Institute should get recognition from HEC and international institutes as well for PAA and take steps to generate awareness in local and international markets. If it fails to do so, it should award this degree to “CAF + Article” persons without condition of additional 3 papers. Apparently, there is not much incremental benefit to a person having CAF certificate + Training experience if he opts to avail this degree.